Lewis & Clark referred to these as'war axes' or'battle axes' but the term Missouri War Axe was used by authors to indicate the only area of use in the West. They were used by a number of different tribes in the Missouri river watershed region including the Sioux, Shoshones, Mandan and Osage, often on horseback.They were already in abundance among the local tribes by 1804 when Lewis & Clark had started their journey. The war axe is in excellent condition with no repairs or damage. Nice head forged from iron, most likely by a blacksmith on the frontier, then traded to the Shoshone, who in turn placed an ash haft into the eye and adorned it as seen. Ash haft is original to the head. The brass tacks are original old tacks. All along the haft are many ceremonial file branding marks made by placing a file or rasp in the fire until it was bright red and then burning the file into the haft. This was done for aesthetic "looks" and ceremonial purposes. The haft is knobbed, several sections have been cut down to give this rare style. There is one "shoulder" with drilled hole for attaching drops or beads.
VERY NICE patina all over, really shows its age! The unusual style head is very desirable. The star cutout and engravings represent the stars and constellations in the sky. A similar war axe with the same style head is in the Museum of the Native American in Washington, DC.There is a visible lap weld on the blade and the eye shows a good forging seam. Conservatively dated to 1830 but may be earlier. The haft of the axe is measuring 23" long and the head is measuring about 9" long. Please ask any questions you may have.
Thank you so much for looking! The item "Original Shoshone Indian Missouri War Axe Forged Head Ash Haft 1830" is in sale since Sunday, April 29, 2018. This item is in the category "Antiques\Ethnographic\Native American". The seller is "mejsoldit" and is located in Lexington, Kentucky.This item can be shipped worldwide.